Security will be a key driver of IT spending within the government sector over the next few years.

According to Nathan Midler, research manager of Internet and Government at IDC Asia-Pacific, government IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1 per cent between 2002 and 2007.

Highlighting the significance of government sector spending, Midler noted that it is the third largest sector in the region after consumer IT and telecommunications. It is also the third-fastest growing after insurance and process manufacturing but, as Midler points out, these sectors are about one-sixth the size of government.

According to IDC, security solutions made up 10.6 per cent of total government IT spending for the region in 2003.

Outlining the Singapore government’s IT procurement plans at a recent Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) briefing on business opportunities for IT in the public sector, Tang-Kwong Yuk Wah, director of the Government Contracts and Commercialization Office, IDA, described a central system to be used by government agencies to perform on-demand security scanning and assessment of their infocomm systems.

Security also figured prominently in government requirements for other infrastructure projects, for example, a central security control and administration solution for the Singapore Government Network which interconnects government and business partners and for the Government Electronic Mail System. The total IT development budget for the Singapore public sector is S$1.3 billion (C$1billion), which will be spread from 2003 to 2006.

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